Look at this!
Sonifex RB-UL2 Dual Unbalanced to Balanced Converter
The RB-UL2 is a dual stereo unit for interfacing domestic or semi-professional unbalanced equipment to professional…
Please excuse me, whilst I dance for joy around the room.
[Dances around the room]
Okay … where was I?
Oh, yes … I was dancing for joy.
[Dances around the room again]
Sorry … I got carried away.
But I have been looking for one of these for months!
The problem is that what I want seems to be not simply unusual but extraordinarily so.
You wouldn’t think so though.
Let’s look at things, shall we?
I’m a DJ … or rather I was until an inconveniently global pandemic killed the party scene and, whilst doubtless things will return to normal eventually, in the meantime I have pivoted to production.
When you’re making music, you need to keep things clean — you don’t want mains hum/ground loops adding noise to your signal path, if you’ve got outboard gear … nor do you want unshielded cables being interfered with by RF signals doing so either.
So … my gear (laptop, audio breakout box, external processing boxes, amps, the works) is plugged into some fairly advanced gas-tube mains conditioners/surge protectors/thermal insulators. Into which is plugged an even more advanced conditioner that (currently) uniquely powers the near/mid-field monitors (whatever else happens, absolutely no noise is getting through to the speakers!)
The audio from the laptop and external processing boxes is digital until it hits the breakout box … after which it travels by shielded, balanced cables to wherever it needs to go (speakers/amp/etc).
There is no noise in the chain beyond that which is unavoidably produced by the gear itself.
Xone:96 | Allen & Heath
Here you can download the latest Windows PC Device Software ('drivers' and 'firmware') for your XONE:96. From time to…
… unfortunately, my breakout box is output only and my audio interface is optical (ADAT) in only, so none of the balanced signals from the mixer can get into the computer for recording without first going via a box of tricks of some sort.
Now, you’d think, wouldn’t you, that there’d be a market for audio converters that will take an unbalanced (RCA) input, clean it up and send it on? After all, there’s any number of home audiophiles who, for years now, must have wanted to clean up their signal chain before sending it on to their speakers..
But, no … there are loads that will do it the other way around … which makes no sense (who wants to add noise to their signal at the last hurdle!?) … but not the way around that makes sense (which is utterly unfathomable).
Or at least there weren’t until now … not that either I or an expert producer friend could find anyway.
But now … now I have found the solution at last.
I’ve just gotta get a balanced in to digital out converter (ideally ADAT, but if I have to go audio-to-S/PDIF followed by a separate S/PDIF-to-ADAT converter, so be it).
But at least the most significant part of the problem has been solved.
Okay … I have to go dance around a bit more now, so … l8erz, peeps.